You’re a World Rally Championship fan, so you don’t need us to tell you that Sébastien Ogier leads the championship despite missing the season’s second round in Sweden.
You also won’t need us to tell you that he won both the Monte Carlo Rally and Rally México, while M-Sport’s Ott Tänak cleaned up in Sweden.
But what about the nuances beyond that? Like, for instance, who has the most podiums this season? Or who has the most powerstage points (that one is, interestingly, a dead heat).
Whether you’re on a fact-finding mission or simply want to validate your own estimations, ewrc-results.com is the place for you to nerd out.
So with the help of our partner website, after three rallies on three different surfaces (asphalt, snow and gravel), we’re going to take a look at one of the statistics available on the database to determine who has, so far, been the fastest driver in 2023.
We can do that by looking at who has the most stage wins from the 58 stages run competitively thus far.
Across the first three rounds, nine drivers (out of 11 Rally1 entrants) have won at least one stage. Only M-Sport pair Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis have failed to top a test so far.
Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta and Hyundai’s Dani Sordo both have one stage win apiece this season – Katsuta claiming his in Sweden and Sordo last weekend in México.
Surprisingly given he is in the thick of the title race, Elfyn Evans has only won two stages in his GR Yaris Rally1 this season – the first coming on the Monte and the second on the monstrous Otates stage in Mexico.
Craig Breen has twice as many stage wins, and naturally all four of his stage victories came in Sweden as he didn’t compete on either round one or three.
So impressively, that means the Hyundai returnee’s tally of four stages wins per event is bettered only by four other drivers.
Ott Tänak isn’t one of them. The 2019 world champion may have won in Sweden but he only claimed one stage win all weekend. In fact, his tally of five stage wins has been mostly achieved on his weakest event result-wise so far: Rally México.
Tänak won four stages there, although all of them were street, spectator or superspecial stages.
Esapekka Lappi has the fourth most stage wins of any driver this season with six – five of those claimed on the opening day of Rally México. The other was courtesy of the Rally Sweden powerstage where Hyundai’s tactic to send him out without a spare tire on the final morning paid dividends.
So now we get to the top three, and there’s a big jump up from Lappi’s six to the third-placed driver who has 12 stage wins so far in 2023.
And that’s Kalle Rovanperä.
Before last weekend, the reigning world champion was the driver with the most stage wins. But the Toyota star surprisingly did not win any stages in México, the first time he’s failed to win any stages in a rally since Acropolis Rally Greece last September.
Which leaves the top two. The driver with the most wins in 2023 vs the driver with the most podiums.
Sébastien Ogier vs Thierry Neuville.
There’s only one stage in it, with the current leader on 14 stage wins and their closest rival on 13.
Neuville won more stages than anybody (six) in Mexico, but that still hasn’t been enough to dethrone Ogier in this chart.
Ogier’s ridiculous nine stage wins on the Monte – which equated to 50% of the rally – and five further scratch times in México ensures he leads the way both in the championship and in the stage winning charts – all, don’t forget, despite missing round two in Sweden. Absolutely incredible.
WRC 2023 stage wins so far:
You can take a deep analytical dive at the 2023 WRC season – as well as pour over results, facts and stats from drivers and cars all over the world from any period of rally history – right here on eWRC-results.